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Copper Pot Help!!!

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Circling around some Copper pots at Williams Sonomma
They're mostly lined with steel
whats the point if its lined with steel? Is'nt this the same as if I bought a Stainless Steel pot? !!!
post #2 of 9
You must mean clad pots, like All-Clad, not just plain stainless steel. Regardless, copper has different heating and cooling properties. Good stainless-lined copper makes for a wonderful cooking tool, or so I've been told. Have yet to break down and spend the $$ for a truly high-end copper pot. But one day ....

post #3 of 9
Do they work any better? That I don't know. What I do know: Copper-clad pots are very pretty, if that's what you want. They are also a bit more work to keep pretty, if you don't mind that. And they are more expensive, if you can afford it.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
post #4 of 9
Copper sounds different too. :) Very unique, you really can tell when you're cooking with copper. :) I get all my copper at Tjmaxx or Marshalls or some other discount store.
post #5 of 9
Copper is a very soft metal and does not lend itself well to having certain ingredients cooked in it. The lining came about to help preserve the life of the pot and to keep the copper from becoming pitted. Today they are either lined with tin or stainless steel. Tin, allbeit a softer metal like copper and can oxidize just as the copper does, yet it will offer a resistance to higher acid foods and should not pit like the copper. The stainless is self explanitory. Infact the only copper cooking vessels I see any more that are not lined with tin or stainless are the bowl inserts for the KA or the hand mixing bowls. I do have both and are specifically used for egg whites ONLY. I'm sure most of you already know the benefit of the copper when making meringues ;) but for those that don't.... The copper helps to stabilize the egg whites and reduces the need to add cream of tartar, etc. In candy making, they are used specifically for the even heat distribution.

Copper, no matter what the mil thickness, offers all the benefits of the even heat distribution since Copper is the second most conductive metal under 500.00 and ounce. (I believe gold is the first.:crazy:) The main difference comes from whether or not the pot has copper solely on the base or completely covered on all sides. The pans with the base evenly distribute the heat thru the base only. Where as the ones made out of copper and then lined, distribute the heat all the way around the pan. I have noticed a difference when doing reductions. The complete copper pans require less flame to produce the same results as the clad or copper bottoms. Unfortunately pans like the Revereware that only have a thin layer of copper have issue with the copper wearing off after years of use and cleaning.

Also, Pans that are produced using a thicker mil of copper on the outside will last far longer than the thinner ones and will not warp as easily. Unfortunately they do cost BIG$$$$. But they sure do look great.

Also as far as cleaning, in order for the copper to work correctly it must be cleaned frequently. Keeping copper pots and pans sparkley clean is not a vanity issue (although I wouldn't hang a pot in clear view that wasn't clean:blush:). It is necessary to not create hot spots in the pans.
post #6 of 9
Tin lining on copper will wear out. Tin melts at very low temperatures, somewhere around 350F, so applications where hight heat is needed such as sauteing aren't really at all that possible.

Copper pots and pans are wonderfull to work with, but it's an all-or-nothing-type purchase: Either blow the big bucks on a heavy guage copper pan with s/s lining, or stay away from the whole scene. Thinner guage copper pans or tin lined ones will eventually be used only for serving and not cooking.
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
post #7 of 9
I agree foodpump it is an "all-or-nothing" investment. If you're not going to invest in the proper copper then don't waste the money.:D BTW now that you mention it I do remember the higher heat had made some issues with the pans we had in school. Just been so long I forgot.:blush::o:look:

Carl, I've seen two types at Williams-Sonoma. The Mauviel is really the better of the two.;) I liked the Rufoni for the size of the stock pot but have never purchased it since it has that hammered finish. It doesn't match the style I have.

Here is a link to a site where you can get the higher quality professional 2mm thick stuff. It is stainless lined however. Copper Cookware Decent prices there too. Don't forget the lids though. I regret that I don't have them. Maybe, someday, I'll get them.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
I was wondering, the copper sugar pot with the spout that is ALL copper no lining; Can I use that to make carmel and candy also? or JUST Sugar and syrup?
What about the mixing bowl can I mix everything in it?
I thought egg white turned green in copper?!?!?!
post #9 of 9
No problem Carl. Happy to help.

As far as my use has been concerned the copper sugar pan has only been used for sugar (carmalizing or candy) or reducing juices into syrups and these rarely because of the acid content of many. It does work well for melting butter tho....;) When using the mixing bowl..... Keep high acid foods, especially dressings and the like, out of the bowl. The best way to understand and explain this is that in order to clean the bowl before usage, I swirl plain white vinegar throughout the inside and rinse with water immediately. This remove any oxidation in the copper. Any unlined opper that is used for food preparation and not just decorative purposes should be cleaned this way. Copper cleaners leave a residue that is rather unpleasant to the palette to say the least. As far as the "green" color is concerned... Mind you I've never seen this and olny been told it but it can happen when you don't clean the copper prior to usage. In fact, the first Chef I ever worked for kept the bowl and a bottle of vinegar in his office. Before we could use it he added the vinegar and left the rest to us. I guess it was his way of making sure we did actually clean the bowl.:roll: Realistically I only use mine, both the hand mixing bowl and the KA insert, for egg whites. An expensive purchase for just that but it does make a difference in the product. IMHPO.

Good luck with this purchase if you're serious about making it. You won't be disappointed. These pans and tools are really something that, if taken care of properly, can last a life time or longer. I've had mine for close to 15 years now and they still look like new. Maybe my DD (or her very,very, very, very distant future DH) will want them some day.:cool:
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